Hello! I'm Alissa, a classically trained chef who is passionate about teaching people how to cook through methods, techniques and basic science principles. I currently live in San Diego, California with my husband, Steve, and sweet dog, Nina. I love learning about food, eating good food, and cooking good food for my loved ones.

Quarantine Favorites

It is very smokey here in Portland. We are totally safe but the smoke has settled in Portland making everything in our apartment look orange. I am currently working on getting some more knife work content done but the lighting in my apartment is less than ideal for making videos. So once the smoke clears (hopefully soon) I will get those videos made and out on the blog.

I thought it would be fun in the meantime to share with you what has been getting me through quarantine. Overall my husband and I have been very lucky considering the circumstances. My husband has been able to continue working full time at home, which is a huge blessing and I love having him home. I unfortunately lost my teaching job at Sur La Table, but that has only encouraged me to put more work into this blog in hopes that it can become my full time job.

We stay home as much as we can and I have been loving anything that makes me feel cozy and comforted.

Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, by Ken Forkish

One of my all time favorite cookbooks. Making bread is always comforting and cozy for me. It really does make me happy. This book has stepped up my bread making game at home. His bread recipes are meant to be cooked in a dutch oven so you get that beautiful thin, crispy crust like rustic bread from a bakery. Highly, highly recommend this book, especially with soup season coming up.

Click here to view on Amazon

Liziqi Youtube Channel

This is an amazing youtube channel that is extremely cozy and comforting. Liziqi lives in China on a beautiful farm with her grandma and makes everything herself. Literally everything. Her lifestyle is one I admire and dream of having one day. If you are feeling anxious and need an escape, her videos will help. This one is particular is fascinating. She grows her own wheat, harvests it and makes all sorts of delicious recipes from it.

Instant Pot

I’m sure most of you have heard of or have an Instant Pot. They are amazing! Especially at the beginning of quarantine when some grocery items were scarce like canned beans and rice, this helped out a ton! I could buy dried beans, unpopular grains and tough cuts of meat and know that I could cook them quickly and easily. Overall, a fun and incredibly useful tool to have in the kitchen.

Click here to view on Amazon

Trader Joe’s El Salvador Santa Ana Coffee

Ooooh this coffee is just delicious. I love a coffee that has chocolate, caramel, nutty notes and this one is just that. Since staying at home all the time, my husband and I have tried several different coffees to make at home and this one is by far our favorite. We grind the beans ourselves and use a ChemEx. And this coffee is just perfection *chef’s kiss*.


I got into knitting and I am obsessed. I always joke that I am a grandma and an old soul, and learning how to knit solidified that title. I find it so relaxing. I have learned how to make blankets and beanies, and I am currently working on a sweater. There are so many great tutorials online but Sheep and Stitch is particularly helpful. Davina is a wonderful teacher and has the clearest directions I have seen in any knitting tutorial.

Animal Crossing

Yeah I definitely hopped on this band wagon. It is such a sweet and simple game and the ultimate form of escapism. You are given an Island to decorate and form however you want. All of the villagers on your island are cute little animals. It is set in real time so each day in the game is a whole day in real life. It’s not a typical video game. The whole point really is to just be on this cute little island. It got me through the first part of quarantine.

Click here to view on Amazon
Click here to view on Amazon

My Dog

A real cheesy inclusion in this list, but my dog, Nina, really is the best. We live in an apartment in the city and having a dog gets us out multiple times a day to walk. Especially when we were in full lockdown, it was really nice to have an excuse to go outside and walk and get fresh air. Also she is just the cutest dog and makes my husband and I laugh several times a day. If this crazy year has taught me anything, it’s to slow down and appreciate all of the sweet little things in life. And Nina is definitely one of those sweet things.

I mean come on. Look at the face ❤️

This year has been so weird and crazy and it feels like it just keeps getting crazier. I hope everyone is hanging in there and holding onto the things that make you feel good and bring comfort into your life. Please remember to be kind to others and especially to yourself.

I would love to hear what your quarantine favorites have been. Leave a comment below to let me know!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own*


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